A new ad campaign from a coalition of mayors who support gun control cites the shootings at Fort Hood as a reason for President Barack Obama and congressional leaders to strengthen restrictions on the sale of firearms.
The group Mayors Against Illegal Guns took out an ad in Monday's Washington Post, petitioning Obama and congress to take action: "Stop Terror Suspects From Getting Guns."
The group also launched an accompanying website called "Close The Terror Gap," where it notes that the alleged Fort Hood shooter, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, was able to purchase a gun without FBI counterterrorism officials being notified, despite the fact that Hasan had been under investigation for potential ties to terrorism.
"Law enforcement experts now recognize that knowledge of Major Hasan's gun purchase could have been critical to the FBI's investigation into his association with terrorists," the ad reads, citing an article from ABC News.
The coalition, comprised of 450 mayors, is calling for legislation that would provide the FBI with the power to block gun sales to terror suspects. The group also asks for the repeal the Tiahrt Amendments, which require the FBI to destroy background records on a gun purchaser within 24 hours of the purchase.
As a Democratic source points out, Obama White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is already on the record arguing for, essentially, the Mayors Against Illegal Guns agenda.
"I think the most simple thing we can do, and we've got to make this a number one issue as a test vote and then take it into the election: That is, if you are on the no fly list because you are known as maybe a possible terrorist, you cannot buy a handgun in America," Emanuel said back in May 2007, speaking to the gun-control supporters at The Brady Center. "If it's between that terrorist list and the NRA, I know where America is going to be every time and they are going to make the right choice and we have got to start building on that."
Congress, however, has been notoriously hesitant to broach the issue of firearms controls in recent years -- a testament to the power that the gun lobby still wields. After the shootings at Virginia Tech, for instance, there was much talk of tightening gun sales and imposing restrictions on gun shows. But no action ensued.